Black magic, using paper for subs mar Leopards, Ulinzi clash
An unidentified man was roughed up by AFC Leopards fans at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos accused of being a black magician working for their opponents Ulinzi Stars FC in their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) showdown on Wednesday.
It was one of the stunning sideshows in the top-bill midweek clash that ended goalless with the KPL secretariat also writing to Leopards on Thursday to explain the reason they used ‘improper equipment’ after pieces of paper were employed to signal substitutions.
In the first bizarre incident, swift action by police officers manning the game rescued the alleged witch doctor from the angry supporters who were baying for his blood after ushering him to safety in their patrol car.
Drama started immediately after the first whistle when a section of Ingwe followers rushed outside the pitch wall towards the VIP main gate and attacked the man who was carrying paraphernalia associated with black magic.
“We were wondering why we could not convert so many open chances, but we now know Ulinzi brought their ‘witch’.
“Police should have allowed us to do justice to him, such people we just kill,” an incensed supporter shouted during the melee.
An Ingwe supporter said to be knowledgeable in matters juju led his peers in dismantling the stuff wrapped in banana leaves as they evoked their native Luhya chants to dispel evil spirits.
Their opposite numbers disowned the hapless fellow whose fate could not be established in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Despite their best ‘ghost busting’ efforts, Leopards who moved to the summit of the KPL log on seven points could not fashion a breakthrough with Ghanian striker Gilbert Fiamenyo and Marcelas Ingotsi wasting gaping chances to puncture the net.
Claims of black magic in the KPL are as old as domestic club football itself but incidents of using ‘remote control’ to influence outcomes remain the talk of legend.
As the game wore on to the second stanza, spectators were treated to shock when the fourth official used plain white papers to signal substitutions and time added on.
Citizen’s Digital efforts to unearth why there was no official substitution’s board proved futile with the match officials keeping off the issue.
However, in a statement, KPL has asked Leopards who were the home team to explain the embarrassing lack of equipment in a top-tier match.
“In line with rule 3.5 of the Rules Governing Kenyan Football which states, “3.5 Match Arrangements (a) Condition of Field: The home club is responsible for ensuring the field and field equipment are in reasonable condition for the match.
“The home club must install suitable goal nets and provide at least two footballs suitable for use in the match,” the KPL communication read.
“As per that rule, AFC Leopards, as home team should have ensured that proper equipment for signalling substitutions is provided by the owners of the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos County, as this is part of what is paid when hiring a facility to host a match.
“In regards to that incident, Kenyan Premier League has written to AFC Leopards demanding an explanation to the circumstances which led to improper equipment being used at their match,” the statement posted on the KPL website added.
The league management body cautioned officials against employing such rudimentary equipment in the top-tier competition.
“Going forward, the Match Officials will be required to enforce the rule referred to above to the letter and inspect all field equipment during the mandatory pre-match meetings,” KPL direct.
Harambee Stars Third Coach, Musa Otieno, who was following proceedings scoffed at the development.
“These are some of the things you don’t expect in our football at age. It is a big joke that people can comfortably wait for a kick-off without such basic refereeing equipment,” the former Stars captain lambasted.
“I don’t know why such simple things cannot be put in place. We always complain we want to go far in our local football but this shows we are way far from achieving basic professionalism in it.
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